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Moldovan Delegation to Examine RI's Criminal Justice System During Rhode Island Visit

Five Moldovan leaders participating in the Open World Program hosted by the Rotary Club of Scituate, R.I., will spend September 26th –30th, 2009, in Rhode Island examining Informing the public about combating corruption. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

While in Rhode Island, the delegates will meet with representatives of Rhode Island’s Ethics Commission, Board of Elections, Commission on Human Rights, Crime Victim Compensation Program, State Police Detective Division, Attorney General’s Office, Sixth Division District Court, and General Treasurer Frank Caprio. The group will tour one of the state’s adult prisons and the Ocean Tides School. Through these experiences, the delegates will learn about criminal justice in Rhode Island and the investigative system used to address violations of ethics, election laws, and human rights violations as well as victim services.

The delegation includes: Vitalie Constantin Verebceanu, Deputy Director, Center for Corruption and Combating Economic Crimes; Dorin Constantin Purice, Head of Risk Management, Customs Department; Mircea Andrei Esaanu, Consultant, Secretary of the Anticorruption Alliance, Eurasian Foundation in Moldova, and Efim Pavel Obreja, Expert, Transparency International-Moldova. Olesea Fortuna from Chisinau, Moldova accompanies them as a facilitator.

During its stay, the Open World delegation is scheduled to meet with Corrections Director Ashbel T. Wall II and tour the John J. Moran Medium Security Facility, the largest sentenced male facility in Rhode Island. As part of the tour, the group will have a brief demonstration by inmate handlers and pups participating in the Prison Pup Partnership Program offered through NEADS: Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans.

“We are pleased that the Department of Corrections is one of the stops on the Moldovan delegation’s itinerary,” notes Director Wall. “Any time there is an exchange of ideas and best practices, everyone benefits.”

The group will also tour the Ocean Tides School, a correctional facility for delinquent juvenile offenders. Johnson & Wales-trained chefs and students in Ocean Tides’ culinary program will prepare lunch for the delegation. The Moldovan leaders will also meet with Rhode Island General Treasurer Frank Caprio and tour the State House.

Home stays will allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life. They will take part in several cultural and community activities, including a wine tasting at the TSETSE Gallery, a tour of the Newport mansions, and lunch on Providence’s historic Federal Hill. The delegates and members of the Rotary Club of Scituate will enjoy an Italian dinner prepared by Chef Jason Clark at the North Foster Baptist Church parsonage. Delegates may attend worship services with host families.

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to Rotary Club International to administer this and similar exchanges in 2009.

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress broadened eligibility for the program to all post-Soviet states. Through Open World, some 14,000 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work. Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. The organization currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

For more information, please contact Micheline Lombardi, Rotary Club of Scituate, at (401) 639-1424 or Maura Shelden, Open World Public Affairs Officer at (202) 707-6197. For more information on Open World, visit its website at

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